Ethics and Society

The simple life
It was in the hallway I saw three guys huddled together quietly talking, I said to myself, there we go again, talking about technology. I work in an atmosphere where technology is huge, not bigger than the egos of all men working there. The machoism and competitiveness often leave much undesirable for me. When I see men talking in the hallway at work, I always hear technical jargon being tossed around as if they were in a competition to see who would be awarded the gold medal for the best lingo in this particular category. Often on the pretense of having an untied shoe lace I have strained to hear the conversation and given up not making any sense of its true meaning and effectiveness. This time however, to my sheer surprise I heard one of the men mumbling about how his son follows the vacuum cleaner around. Such conversations are a rare occurrence in my world here if not unheard of between men.

My experiences in the corporate world have been enlightening. I have learned the hard way how easy it is for many people to distinguish between business and personal behavior. I find it impossible to learn how to be one without the other. The harsh reality of corporate structure has led to the evaporation of my idealism and simplicity. The workings are far more complex than need to be. I feel displaced in this era of hoarding, technology and your failure is my stepping stone to success kind of attitude.

When a company starts educating its employees about the ethical values that need to be followed to achieve success and become one of the top trusted companies, it also is sending a subtle message that many miss its interpretation. If you think hard you will start to realize that those ethical values have been discarded and created a “Me, My success, My promotion, My gains, Me, Me and Me” that has begun to hurt the company. A multi-billion dollar investment cannot sustain such a blow. The company needs to protect its interests, and thus the re-enforcement of ethical values at all levels of the company’s working model. This should work and fix the problem right? The answer is not so simple. This culture is not today’s problem, it’s that of tomorrow. It’s evolved with us since eons of ages. It lies ahead of us becoming the norm of the ever developing and growing human population. Can this company complete a successful enforcement of its ethical values on the members of today’s “Me” cultural society? Actually is it even ethical of this company to enforce its ethical standards on the un-abiding citizens?

People are working longer hours to earn more for the fancier cars, houses, cell-phones and i-pods that they can’t really afford. Ever since the good old days of cash has been replaced by the virtual money we can afford through means of credit cards and zero percent interest, even the middle class celebrate their six year olds birthday by hosting a spa party. The absurdity of such a notion would make our previous generations turn in their graves. Everyone wants to eat gourmet every single day. Googling for a recipe lands you in the world of unheard cheeses and wines. Whatever happened to the simple days of rice, vegetables and fruit. Our generation finds humor and appeal in a photo of a small child of parents who live on less than a dollar a day toting a Gucci bib. We have women who find pleasure in renting purses for $ 300.00 a week, living in a mansion that cost them maybe 3 lifetimes to pay for complaining about the $3.64 on a gallon of milk.

This is the age where honest, hardworking and simple people are a minority. You are an outcast if you don’t know who Bobby Trendy or Vera Wang is. To live up to this artificial sense of well-being is so overrated that you will hardly find engineers standing in corners discussing their infinitely worth precious irreplaceable entities like their children. So when you do find it, enjoy in its simplicity and innocence and hope like I do that this “Me” culture will change someday that we all will no longer need to enforce ethical values because they are part of our culture.